Beth reviews ‘Amber’ by T.Strange (Published by Torquere Press; January 14,2014)
Why I read it: T. Strange graciously offered a review copy of “Amber” to our blog for an honest review, and when I saw the cover I wanted to read it. I’ve always been intrigued by amber and its unique healing properties and striking color. I really enjoyed reading this book; the premise is one of the most unique I’ve ever read. It makes me wonder if the author is a painter or an artist.
Anthony was a painter until he lost the ability to see color. Worse than color blindness, the edges of objects and people blur together, making it almost impossible for Anthony to interact with anyone or anything. After retreating from the world for decades, he sees a glimpse of yellow that leads him to a musician, Teague.
At first Anthony is frightened and overwhelmed by the color, but he can’t stay away from Teague for long. He finds the courage to confront Teague and explain his unusual problem and Teague’s role in helping him. To Anthony’s relief, Teague believes him. Very quickly, they both realize that getting colors back may be more important to Anthony than his relationship with Teague. If Anthony pushes too hard, he’ll lose Teague, and possibly the colors, forever.
The story is about a painter, Anthony, who one day lost his ability to see color after meeting a fortune teller at the fair. This is problematic to his craft, and sadly, he retreats from his friends and family, in fact everyone, for decades.
“An endless line of unmarked days that flow together like the colors that no longer exist for me. A flat, lifeless world in which even gray would be welcome.”
Anthony barely exists when one day he catches a glimpse of color out on the street. He is enthralled, and manages to follow the color to a musician, Teague. After discovering Teague, bit by bit, Anthony manages to befriend him and falls into a relationship with him.
This is a short story so the pace moves quickly. It is full of beautiful imagery, as you might expect from an artist and a musician. The night after Anthony firsts encounters Teague, and his first color, yellow, he has his first dream in twenty years:
That night I dreamed for the first time since I had lost the colors. I dreamed about the musician. He was standing in the middle of a street, singing. And as he sang, rain began to fall. I could see the place where each drop fell, but instead of turning the color I thought wet pavement should be, the spots turned to molten gold. Soon the man was covered, drenched in gold. It was dripping from his fingers, his guitar, his hair…
As the story progresses, gradually, more colors become visible in Anthony’s life through his relationship with Teague. There are tense moments as Teague questions whether Anthony is in the relationship with Teague for Teague himself, or for his ability to bring color alive for Anthony. However, in the end, love wins, as Anthony and Teague discover that they can overcome any remaining obstacles together.
8/10 pots of gold